On Saturday, Dec. 13, World Series of Fighting held its 16th event from the McClellan Conference Center in Sacramento, Calif.
In the night’s main event, the promotion’s welterweight champion, Rousimar Palhares, looked to defend his belt for the first time against fellow UFC veteran Jon Fitch. The Brazilian Palhares had been a lightning-rod for controversy in his career due to his injury-inducing leg locks. He used an inverted heel hook to take the belt from Steve Carl at WSOF 9 in March. Fitch, meanwhile, had scored back-to-back decision wins leading up to the title affair. After succumbing to a shocking, 41-second submission loss in his promotional debut, he bounced back to defeat Marcelo Alfaya and Dennis Hallman.
The co-main event also featured gold on the line as featherweight kingpin Rick Glenn took on Lance Palmer. The Roufusport product Glenn had not tasted defeat in 13 straight bouts, stopping Georgi Karakhanyan in June to secure the 145-pound strap. Team Alpha Male’s Palmer reeled off seven straight wins to open his career, but fell victim to Karakhanyan last December. He rebounded with a first-round submission win over Nick LoBosco in June.
The night’s action kicked off with the preliminary card live on nbcsports.com. The five-fight main card kicked off at 9 p.m. ET live on the NBC Sports Network.
Rousimar Palhares made it a short day at the office, getting a kneebar submission victory over title contender Jon Fitch. To start the fight, Fitch was able to find some success in his new boxing skills, but within a minute of the fight starting, the fight ended up on the ground. Palhares was able to find the left leg of Fitch. Once Palhares grabbed the leg, Fitch tried to slide his leg out. At the same time Palhares found the kneebar and cranked on it to the point that Fitch had to tap. Fitch laid on the mat for quite some time as the doctors looked at his leg. After a few minutes Fitch was able, with help from his team, to walk out of the cage and back to the locker room.
The co-main event of the evening brought a very one-sided contest with Lance Palmer grabbing the featherweight strap with an one-arm rear-naked choke win over Rick Glenn. Throughout the fight, Palmer was able to find a home for his overhand left cross. At the end of rounds one and two, Palmer was able to get a takedown, which were setup with the left hand. Palmer’s movement looked very clean as he was able to move side-to-side looking for angles to land the left hand over and over before getting the third-round finish.
The undefeated, highly-touted Brazilian Sheymon Moraes was able to get the split decision victory over a very tough Gabriel Solorio in a very tight contest. In what was primarily a stand-up contest, both men were able to keep their range and fire at will. At the end of the first round, Solorio was able to get a takedown and work some ground and pound as the bell signaled the end of the round. In round two, more of the same happened as both men were content to keep it standing. With 50 seconds left, Moraes was able to catch a kick and land a trip. From the bottom Solorio was able to get an armbar to reversal and land in a half guard. Round three brought more stand-up exchanges with both men landing really hard punches.
Josh Berkovic took on Brenson Hansen in the first fight of the televised portion of the card. In the first frame of the fight, Hansen was able to use his boxing to hurt Berkovic. Toward the end of round one, Berkovic was able to use his boxing to get in close for the takedown. In round two, Berkovic found a little more success in getting the clinch to takedown. Hansen was able to hurt Berkovic with solid punches in the second frame. Round three saw Berkovic land four takedowns to grind out the unanimous decision victory.